A SCISSETT theatre company claim they will have to look for a new home after rising costs left them unable to afford to pay hall hire.
Leaders at the Scissett Stage Door Theatre Company say they are unable to afford the charges at the Scissett Middle School base they have used for 12 years.
The theatre company members say it is “unbelievable” that they are being charged in excess of £1,000 for hire.
But the headteacher said they only charge for costs related to the group’s use of the school.
Michael Moriarty said the school was charging them £823 and never makes any profit from the groups who use the buildings.
The Wakefield Road school has been hit by a 43% rise in energy bills in the last ten months.
Mr Moriarty said they only charge enough to cover bills so the costs are not passed on to the council taxpayer.
But Elaine Ward, producer at the theatre company – currently working on a production of Oklahoma – said they were now looking for a new base.
Mrs Ward, who is also a Denby Dale councillor, said: “We don’t expect anything for free, I know you can’t get anything for free nowadays.
“But I find it totally unbelievable for them to charge in excess of £1,000, which is what it could end up being when we get the final bill through.”
It means the theatre group is now searching for a new home.
Mr Moriarty said the school had been hit hard by a steep rise in energy bills and had to cover caretaking, lighting and heating costs.
Mr Moriarty said: “We are very much a community school; our school is used by numerous community groups.
“The Emley Rugby Club have just leased some land off us to develop facilities for them, which our pupils will be able to use.
“We also have football clubs, martial arts, scout and guide groups and junior football and rugby at the weekends, as well as adult learning classes.
“The school is also open during the holiday period for sporting organisations.
“We go out of our way for community groups – the children and adults in this area know our school is available for them.
“The one thing we don’t do is make a profit, but we have to cover costs and I think people will understand that.
“Our site manager is the most dedicated and accommodating man you could wish for, he will stay late for these groups and often does.
“But high increases in energy charges have affected us. I am not talking about a small increase of two per cent, but a substantial increase.
“We are certainly not looking to put them out of business.”
The popular theatre company was formed in 1929 with the then headteacher of Scissett School instrumental in the creation of the company.